That was the word Davis school board president Sheila Allen picked to describe the 23 graduates over age 18 who received high school diplomas Tuesday at the Davis Adult and Community Education School’s graduation ceremony. “You come up to a problem, you go around it, you go through it, you stick to it,” Allen said.
Pam Mari, the Davis school district’s executive director of student services, told the graduates that they had met “great challenges — nobody gave it to you, nobody made it easy. … You have made an enormous emotional and financial investment in your future.” Mari stressed that the benefits would be paid forward, saying, “The children of high school graduates do better in school, You have created more educational options, more opportunities for financial reward, more pride in family, more dignity for yourself — and you did that on your own.”
Attending the ceremony were parents Frances and Ron Adam, and grandmother Brigida Manibusan, who were there to see Taylor Brigida Adam receive her diploma.
“It’s been a long road, and we’re very proud of her,” Frances said. Taylor added that she is “proud” and “thankful for the opportunity the Lord has given me,” and plans to enroll in Sacramento City College, with the goal of transferring to UC Berkeley.
Several family members were present to see McKenzie Archie Millett receive a diploma, including mother Jane Millett, Andii Millett and sister Sydney Langford (and her children Hayden, age 4, and Colin, age 1). Andii said “We are so proud of him — he can do anything now!” Jane said the family would celebrate with a barbecue. McKenzie said he was glad he had satisfied the graduation requirement for science (“my hardest subject!”) and was hoping to land a job with FedEx.
Jawahar Chaudhary was there with several other family members to his daughter Aariti Chaudhary graduate. Aariti arrived in this country in 2009 from Nepal, speaking little English.
“My family supported me very much,” she said, beaming in her green graduation robe as she held her diploma at the Veterans’ Memorial Center. Aariti intends to pursue a career in nursing.
Graduate Bryan Keith Roman was there with his wife Jennifer and sons Bryan, 4, and Fernando, 1. The new graduate said he’d taken a job as a teenager, rather than finish his high school diploma. But he said he felt a sense of accomplishment and looks forward to seeing his sons graduate in years to come.
Graduate Eli Wilson Lane — a former newspaper carrier for The Davis Enterprise — said it was “pretty awesome” to have finished his diploma requirements, especially in math, the subject that had worried him the most. He was cheered on by older sister Megan Padon and other family members, including his mother Jill, who said, “Today is my birthday, and this is the best birthday gift I ever got.”
Associate Superintendent Bruce Colby and his “youngest, tallest” son Quinn Colby Vaewsorn presented $500 scholarships to graduates Taylor Brigida Adams, Rachel Tyrvanen and Jacqulyn Marie Bell. The Colby-Vaewsorn family initiated the first Davis Adult School scholarship two years ago, and two more scholarships have been added since then.
The 2013 graduates of the Davis Adult and Continuing Education School are: Taylor Brigida Adams, Jayne Christina Bailey, Kymberlee Alex-Marie Barra-Dunham, Jacqulyn Marie Bell, Aarati Chaudhary, Kane Lok-Ken Chiu, Jose E. Flores, Brandon Mathew Hernandez, Diana Isabel Hernandez, Janet Alejandra Hernandez, Martel Huitron, Devante Johnson-Silva, Billy Joe Kennon, Eli Wilson Lane, Daniel Lara, McKenzie Archie Millett, Norma Esmeralda Ramirez, Lawrence S. Rios, Marcus R. Roach, Bryan Keith Roman, Emily Ann Tarchala, Rachael Tyrvanen, Victor Vargas.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8055.